23 April is St George’s Day, the day we celebrate the patron saint of England and the birth of Shakespeare. It’s no coincidence that Manifold Press is just about to release our Shakespeare-inspired anthology, NO HOLDS BARD.
We’re glowingly proud of how this collection of stories has come together, burgeoning with intriguing ideas both weird and wonderful – and we’re very much looking forward to knowing what you think of it all, too!
It’s only a week now until release day on May Day. In the meantime, as The Man Himself said, “Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” (We’ll return to our usual, somewhat less partisan selves on the morrow, I promise.)
NO HOLDS BARD
Modern LGBTQ+ fiction inspired by the works of William Shakespeare
Ten authors, twelve extraordinary stories. From a novel solution to the Plantagenet succession crisis to revelations about the private lives of Prince Hal and – separately! – Brutus and Cassius, plus a surprise ending for Twelfth Night, no play is safe. We have marriage proposals and murder; subtle scheming villainy; a missing manuscript; a haunting… Whether set within the framework of a play, or spotlighting actors, characters, or the Bard himself, these stories will have you viewing Shakespeare in a whole new light. It’s definitely not the kind of thing they taught us in school…
Take a deep breath. Dive in. Prepare to be astonished!
An anthology edited by Fiona Pickles and featuring authors:
- Julie Bozza
- Siobhan Dunlop
- Adam Fitzroy
- Bryn Hammond
- Erin Horáková
- Molly Katz
- Vanessa Mulberry
- Eleanor Musgrove
- Michelle Peart
- Jay Lewis Taylor
67000 words/262 pages
Publication 1 May 2018
Couched in a Curious Bed
Having lost his youngest son, a shaken but still-living York is determined to bring the War of the Roses to a swift end – preferably one that will benefit his family. The Lancastrian queen and heir are dead, and, medieval diplomacy being what it is, the best hope for peace lies in a highly unexpected royal marriage.
The Lord and Christopher Sly
Christopher Sly is a wastrel with nothing to his name but a handsome face, but he’s always intrigued the local Lord. When he finds Sly drunk outside an inn, the Lord decides to play a trick on him and give him a taste of a better life.
In Fair Verona
Adventures naturally befall Lord Byron while he travels through Europe, but all are deliciously surpassed when he is visited by an apparition in the book-lined parlour of an old palazzo in Verona.
Under the Veil of Wildness
It isn’t only contemplation that Hal’s obscured under the veil of wildness; also growing like the summer grass, wildest at night, is another personality – a female one, Arietta. When a French spy discovers Hal’s secret, trouble follows – but the sequence of events is not what either of them had been expecting…
Imitate The Sun
Young actor Niamh Valentine is cast as Poins in an all-female production of Henry IV. The infamous Jessica Condell is playing Hal. Soon Niamh is balancing Hal and Poins’ relationship with hers and Jessica’s whilst preparing for opening night.
Jonas has given up everything in his relentless search for William Shakespeare’s lost plays. Now, in the tunnels under the Kremlin, they are within his grasp. Or are they?
But That He Sees The Romans Are But Sheep
The nights Cassius and Brutus spend together as wolves have been growing fewer and farther between. Cassius is lonely for the man he’s loved since his youth – lonely and angry – and things must not continue as they are.
In A Dark House
Couples coalesce in happiness, while the lone ones are cast adrift… Feste is glad to see the back of Sir Andrew, is tempted to follow Antonio, a man of his own nature – but surprises even himself when instead he starts to search for the vengeful Malvolio.
Now You See Him, Now You Don’t
“You old romantic! Trust you to propose over a dead body – ” When obnoxious billionaire Duncan Moon is murdered in a Scottish country house hotel, investigating police officers Mal and Shawn find themselves curiously in sympathy with the killer… or killers…
My Mistress’ Eyes
In a tender domestic moment with her high-flying girlfriend, Lexi, Jasmine reflects on their relationship. A flattering request from a local festival leads her to take inspiration from the Bard himself as she searches for the right words to ask a very important question.
After the Storm
Jay Lewis Taylor
An isolated farm in the borderlands. A circus whose horses bear the names of gods, whose chief attraction is the Aërial Curiosity. But the show is over; the showmaster is taking his daughter away to be married, and leaving the Aërial Curiosity behind – or is he?
The Last Play
Shakespeare has written his last play – or most of it – as he faces retirement from the stage and from London. But he has one last thing to say to his public. If he has the courage.